In 2015 Writer, Comedian and Care Leaver, Sophie Willan, created Stories Of Care, a dynamic writing project for Looked After Children and Care Leavers.

Working with Producer and Editor, Oliver Sykes and Youth Liaison Officer, Rod Kippen, Sophie recruited Care Leavers across the North West to take part in the creation of published children’s anthology for Looked After Children.

Through workshops, research trips and one-to-one support, the group became friends, shared their experiences and built their skills as writers.

Together with Sophie they have created a tremendously vibrant anthology inspired by their experiences and fired by their imaginations.
Tales of the Weird, the Wild and the Wonderful is incredibly moving, astoundingly honest and sidesplittingly funny.

This book will be distributed to Looked After Children across the UK, providing an entertaining read that will comfort and inspire, as well as providing positive relatable role models, both through the characters within the book and writers of the stories themselves.

The book is being published by Barbican Press and will be available from the 3rd July 2017.

If you would like to attend the launch event at The Manchester Children’s Book Festival, please contact, Oliver Sykes on

If you would like to order a copy of the book please contact


Sophie Willan


Sophie Willan
Sophie Willan is an award-winning Writer/Performer, Producer, Comedian and Care Leaver. Throughout her adolescence Sophie has been supported by the care system, spending time with temporary foster parents, receiving long-term foster care from her Grandmother and finally being placed in supported lodgings in her teens. In response to these experiences, Sophie has built a reputation as a highly regarded socially engaged Artist, Producer and advocate for young people.
She has worked for organisations such as Apples & Snakes, Barnardos, Bolton At Home, Bolton Council, Contact Theatre, Lemn Sissay’s Christmas Dinner, Manchester Children’s Society, The Library Theatre, The Salvation Army and Swiis Foster Care.
Through her own bespoke projects, Sophie inspires, develops and empowers marginalised young people through unique creative opportunities and robust professional development. Her previous projects have been supported by O2 Think Big, Arts Council England, Bolton Octagon, Bolton Library, The Big Lottery, Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme, Contact Theatre, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Princes Trust and Take Art.
Sophie also works as a Panel Member for Swiis Foster Care, where she contributes to the decision making process of potential and current Foster Carers. 

Oliver Sykes


Oliver Sykes
Oliver Sykes is a Theatre-Maker, Workshop Facilitator and Producer. He is currently Associate Theatre-Maker at Bolton Octagon. He has made and presented work for a number of leading arts organisations, including Contact Theatre, Flow Festival, The Lowry, Underground Venues and Oldham Library. He is currently under commission by The Roundhouse and BBC1 Xtra’s Words First Legacy Commission.

Oliver is passionate about socially engaged arts projects that work with and for communities. He has a keen interest in working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who may have limited experience of the arts. He has delivered creative projects with organisations such as Contact Theatre, Oldham Library and Fairfield Youth Centre.

As a producer, Oliver has led on large-scale national projects, including Strategic Touring Programmes, collaborating with artists such as Sophie Willan, Jackie Hagan, Maxwell Golden and Avaes Mohammad. Oliver has worked as Producer for Contact Theatre, Associate Producer for Freedom Studios and Administrator at Arts Council England.

Rod Kippen

Youth Liaison

Rod Kippen

Rod Kippen is a highly skilled and dedicated Children’s Rights Advocate. Over the passed twenty years Rod has worked with children and young people in various settings including Residential Work, Youth Offending and Social Services. Most recently he has worked as a Children’s Rights Advocate, facilitating Rochdale Children in Care Council and participation events across Greater Manchester.

Rod is dedicated to ensuring young people’s views and experiences are heard and taken seriously and has always worked creatively to encourage young people to express themselves and feel empowered. Rod approaches Social Work with the belief that every person and their experience should be treated as unique and supported in a way that best suites them as oppose to following a ‘one-shoe-fits-all’ process.

Rod is also a practising artist and uses photography, narrative and journal methods to connect with communities.


Stories Of Care work exclusively with Care Leavers to create vibrant children’s anthologies inspired by their experiences and fired by their imaginations.